Seminary Life

The seminary is where a man discerns whether God is calling him to priesthood and prepares him for a life of love and sacrifice as a priest. Each seminarian is assigned to a seminary to take classes and grow in the 4 areas of formation (intellectual, spiritual, human, & pastoral). While classes take place on a college campus, it is different from the "traditional" college experience in that the seminarians are in a prayerful environment: morning prayer, daily Mass, and evening prayer. Seminarians will also meet with spiritual directors on a regular basis.

Learn more about becoming a seminarian, the steps from seminary to priesthood, and answers to common questions about seminary.

 Meet Our Seminarians

How to Become a Seminarian

  1. The process typically begins with some conversations with the vocations director, Father Ross Parker. Some feel the pull to enter the seminary right away, while others spend more time in this part of discernment. When you make the decision that you would like to enter the seminary, the formal process begins. 
  2. You will then have a series of meetings with the vocations director and will visit a seminary or two to meet people and see what it's like.
  3. You will go through several in-depth interviews and write your autobiography and an essay on what the priesthood means to you. You will be asked to get recommendation letters from priests, pastors, friends, co-workers, teachers and guidance counselors. 
  4. You will complete a series of psychological tests (these tests are paid by the diocese).
  5. You will fill out application forms and supply the vocations office with high school and college transcripts, as well as baptismal and confirmation certificates, college board tests (ACT or SAT) and a medical/physical form. The diocese performs a background check and the seminary admissions committee reviews your application and sends a recommendation to Bishop Joensen.
  6. Upon completing the application process and having the approval of the seminary admissions committee, you'll visit with the bishop. Congratulations!

Seminary to Priesthood

The seminarian program is based on "Pastores Dabo Vobis," (I will Give You Shepherds) written by St. John Paul II. It focuses on four main pillars of formation, corresponding to four areas of the seminarian's life: intellectual formation, spiritual formation, human formation, and pastoral formation.

Intellectual Formation

All seminarians earn a undergraduate degree in Philosophy and a masters degree in Theology. The first task of intellectual formation is to acquire a personal knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, the fullness and completion of God's revelation.

Spiritual Formation

Spiritual formation is about falling in love with Jesus. It is not enough that a Catholic priest know about Jesus and his Church; he must know Jesus personally, and be convinced of the Lord's unconditional love for him and for every person.

Human Formation

The human personality of the priest is to be a bridge and not an obstacle for others in their meeting with Jesus Christ the Redeemer of the human race.  Human formation includes instilling the virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude.  It includes developing humility, constancy, sincerity, patience, good manners and hygiene, and truthfulness.

Pastoral Formation

A priest should be a true shepherd of souls after the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, teacher, priest and shepherd. Priesthood is about getting people to heaven! All priestly formation culminates in pastoral skill: being able to shepherd people and help them to grow in holiness.